I get on these kicks where I become obsessed with an ingredient, method or flavor and then I’ll find myself putting whatever the thing may be into all the things.
For awhile, thanks to my friend Megan, I was toasting oats every single morning and making all sorts of batches of oatmeal and/or oatmeal granola hybrids. Then there was the time I ate rosemary ash at Hogstone on Orcas Island and I’ve never shied away from something being “too dark” since. When Reneé Erickson showed me how beautiful tomatoes and vanilla are together I started putting vanilla salt on everything; sweet and savory.
Currently I’m freckling all my toasts, salads, and soups with whole roasted spices, and thanks to my new grill everything is getting bathed in smoke and I’m finding all sorts of places to tuck in charred scallions.
For the next book finely chopped charred scallions are swirled into sour cream for a dip reminiscent of french onion dip with a brighter, smokier taste. But here we’re slipping them into a comforting grilled cheese sandwich.
If you have a grill handy that is ideal but most often I sear these on a cast iron grill pan or just in my skillet. Grill or sear until nearly blackened (remember that ash from above?). They soften and turn sweet with a bit of time. That deep char gives off a lovely smokiness and once finely chopped and with a bit of salt mixed in they turn into a lovely relish-like sauce that, as I’ve been doing, can be tucked in everywhere.
Charred Scallion Grilled Cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 bunches scallions (about 10)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons dijon
3 tablespoons butter
4 slices bread
1 cup grated gruyere cheese
Add the olive oil to a large cast iron skillet or if you are grilling the scallions toss with the oil. Sear or grill the scallions until softened and deeply charred in parts, about 5 to 8 minutes, turning as needed.
Remove the scallions from the pan or grill, let cool for at least 5 minutes then finely chop. Add the salt.
Slather the bread with dijon, add the butter to the skillet and add two slices of bread. Add 1/2 cup grated gruyere to the bread and half of the scallions. Top with the other piece of bread then grill until deeply golden and the cheese has melted.